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Key Leaders of Menovu Tribes of Bukidnon Apprehensive of the Current BBL Status in Congress

Posted on 21 August 2015 by cbcs_mike

Twenty seven (27) members of the Menovu/T’duray-Maguindanaon/Meranao Council of Elders in the province of Bukidnon conducted an emergency meeting held in Poblacion, Dangcagan, Bukidnon last August 12 – 13, 2015.

The Council of Elders during their preliminary meeting

The Tribal Council of Elders seen here during the preliminary part of the meeting

The tribal key leaders meeting was attended by some IP Mandatory Representatives, Municipal and Barangay Chieftains and community leaders with their counterpart in the Maguindanaon and Meranao coming from different Barangays in at least nine (9) municipalities of Bukidnon. The emergency meeting was supported and sponsored by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) facilitated by Datu Wilmar “Bobong” Ampuan, the Executive Director of Nasabaken Taraguney dut Kalilintad te Bukidnon Federation (NATABUK).

The meeting was triggered by the recent critical status of the fruit of the 18 years peace negotiation between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) culminating in enactment of a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Congress of the Philippines. The group worry was founded on the bases that the Tribal Groups of Bukidnon agreed and signed a declaration of unconditional support to the GPH-MILF Peace Talks in a general assembly held sometimes in January of 2014.

To enlighten the IP-Moro Council of Elders of Bukidnon, Mike Kulat, Senior Program Officer of CBCS presented a power-point presentation of the salient points of the original text of BBL stipulated under HB4994 in comparison with dilution or changes, insertions and deleting made by AdHoc Committee on BBL in the House of Representatives now renamed as HB5811 which was approved in the committee level last June 10, 2015.

Mr. Kulat also pointed out and explained that HB5811 was already officially rejected by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) by coming up BTC Resolution No.005, series 2015 dated July 29, 2015 signed by its fourteen members. He further made analysis on the BTC rejection to possibly mean rejection of the MILF leaderships simply because BTC and MILF Negotiating Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal is a member of the Central Committee of the MILF. As logical consequences is that both HB5811 and the Senate’s Marcos’s “Substitute Bill’ or SB No.2894 which he declared that in his version only around 20% was left untouched to the original text of BBL will likewise be rejected.

During the plenary discussion of the council of elders, Datu Bobong Ampuan clarified some queries on why a need for the Moro and IP tribes of Bukidnon have to worry on the fate of BBL when they were outside of the proposed Bangsamoro Core Territory. Datu Bobong explained in Menovu dialect that “the blood relations between the Islamized and Non-Islamized aborigines or natives of Mindanao are borderless.” He further clarified “that many of the IP communities lay adjacent to their Moro brothers in the decades armed conflict had been made as battle ground in the fire fights” the reason why the IPs as well should be equally concerned with the ongoing peace process.

In relation to BBL concerned, Municipal IPMR of San Vicente, Bukidnon, Bae Emelina suggested for the Council of Elders to undertake signature campaign for an appeal to Congressmen and Senators to uphold the original text of the BBL which had been substantially and widely consulted up to their grass-root levels. On the other hand, Datu Rene Mandog coming from Kalilangan, Bukidnon who is the council member representing the Meranao tribes gave brief background of the Bangsamoro problem and in which the 18 years negotiation intent to solve under the current controversial BBL but was substantially changed by the congress of their own new versions. He then recommended for the council members to also make Position Papers and furnished the members of the two Houses of Congress to let them know the apprehensions of majority of the Moro People and Lumad as both natives of Mindanao.

By: Datu Uko Ampatuan

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